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PETRONIUS

Petronius on Slaves and Freedmen

"We approached the house. At the entrance, stood a door keeper shelling peas into a silver bowl. Over the door, a magpie squawked a greeting to guests from his golden cage."
(Satyricon, 28)

We reached the dining room. Boys from Egypt poured cooled water on our hands while others ministered to our feet, removing the hangnails with precision. I began chatting with my neighbor. Who was that woman running here and there? 'The host's wife,' he replied. 'She counts her money by the bushel. But take care you don't scorn the other freedmen here. They're oozing wealth too. See that one reclining at the end of the couch? Today he's worth 800,000. He's newly freed. Not too long ago, he carried wood on his back.' "
(Satyricon, 31-37)

"We hired a porter called Corax, who turned out to be more trouble than help. He often dropped his load, complaining about the pace and griping, 'What do you think I am? A horse? I am no less free than you, even if my father left me a pauper.' Not content with cursing us, he lifted his foot and filled the air with the noise and stench of his fart."
(Satyricon, 117.11,12)

 
 
 
     
 
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